When we have a voice that influences people, we must prayerfully guard what we say. People are often looking for a leader, mentor, or other inspiration to get closer to the goal. In the dance ministry realm, the need for personal leadership seems to have taken on a life of its own...
For some reason, a growing population of dancers do not feel as though their own Pastors or churches are equipped enough to provide them with needed training. In many senses, this analysis may hold some truth, but we must not allow pride to enter in. God is raising up "specialists" who are studied in the worship arts and can provide some much-needed guidance in many areas. This does not give us the right to disregard the leadership that He has already provided.
The hidden danger lies in the fact that there is a growing belief of inferiority and a need to be validated by others in movement ministry. How do I know this? I look at the growing advertisements for ministry training and licensing/ordination programs, dance competitions that seek to highlight the "best" in the praise dance genre, churches clamoring for dance ministry presence even when it is clear that the people are not ready, and the explosion of groups hosting dance conferences! Some would argue that this is a good thing, but it is not benefitting the Kingdom if the motive behind it is wrong. Thus, many sheep are being wounded and misled.
We must fix our eyes on the Lord. When we trust Him to provide us with relationships that will develop our gifts and talents, we can testify to the fruitfulness of it. What God has joined together should not be tampered with by man.
If we are not watchful, we can begin to idolize the dance ministers that we feel have "made it" in some way. This includes published authors, conference hosts and facilitators, television personalities, dance ministry leaders, marketplace ministers, and more. The danger in pursuing relationships with others based on a need for personal validation is that we can develop selfish reasons for wanting to connect with them.
If we are led by our emotions, we may discover ourselves bending over backwards to accommodate outrageous requests, develop man-pleasing habits in serving, or praising our "idols" more than we give glory to God. We cannot simply blame those who abuse the mentor-mentee relationship. As it is often said: "It takes two..."
For those of us who are in leadership, we must not allow ourselves to revel in the praise, gifts, accolades, or status that comes with having influence in ministry. Remaining humble before the Lord will compel us to point others to Him. Allowing for even a moment of "look at me," can be our downfall.
If we are called to mentor, remember that it is the image of Christ that people are being transformed into. Those called to lead must not do so with dollar signs in our eyes. On both sides of the fence, keeping Jesus as our focus will combat the idolization of creation. When we longingly look for a "savior" to lead us to life in the movement ministry, we may find ourselves with "idol eyes."
New King James Bible Version
1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd.
[The Folly of Not Trusting God] Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!